Date of Award

Spring 4-5-2021

Document Type

Distinction Paper

Degree Name





Dr. Michele Acker

First Committee Member

Dr. Michele Acker

Second Committee Member

Dr. Noam Shpancer

Third Committee Member

Dr. Paul Eisenstein


Inner Monologue, Personality, Psychopathology, Psychology

Subject Categories

Higher Education | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The purpose of this study is to investigate the function of internal monologue and investigate its relation to personality and psychopathology. Internal monologue or self-talk are habits of private speech that may serve to internally guide, comfort, and criticize (Brintahupt 2019; Morin, Duhnych and Racy, 2018). We explored the relationship of self-talk to the factor of extraversion, how self-talk impacts the relationship with self, and if mental disorders such as anxiety and depression impacted the way in which one engages in self-talk. 96 college-age participants completed a survey consisting of quantitative and qualitative measures that asked about self-talk. Findings showed that extraversion was unrelated to self-talk tendencies. Participants’ responses demonstrated that positive internal monologue was essential in their day-to-day self-regulatory process and is rooted in their identity. People experiencing anxiety or depression reported that their self-talk was negative, critical, and often made them less likely to engage in self-talk. Finally, COVID-19 impacted self-talk in opposing directions by either supporting people through forced isolation or by creating a harsh internal environment consisting of negative self-talk. We conjecture this negative self-talk could be contributing to, or simply reflecting, increasing rates of anxiety and depression during the pandemic (Abbott, 2021).